Teaching America’s Past To Our Newest Americans: Immigrant Students and United States History

In the article, Kerry A. Dunne and Christopher C. Martell discuss the obstacles that immigrant students face in public schools when learning about United States history. In order to understand these students, a teacher must recognize that different cultures call for different needs, immigrant students may or may not be proficient in English, and there are important cultural differences between immigrant groups. The four areas of concern that a teacher with immigrant students must focus on are 1) building empathy for the difficulties associated with learning a language, 2) understanding how second languages are acquired, 3) adapting curricula to students’ language needs, and 4) employing literacy skills in the disciplines. This article is a useful resource for teachers because there is a wide variety of students in the classroom and it is important to understand their differences and needs in order to understand and present them with the opportunity to be successful. This article provides real life examples and offers tips for teachers who are teaching U.S. history to immigrant students.

Keywords: immigrant, students, U.S. history, ELL, strategies, cultural differences


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